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Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt: A Theological Survival Guide for Youth, Parents and other Confused Presbyterians

By Ted V. Foote Jr. and P. Alex Thornburg
2000. Geneva. 80 pp. Pb. $12.95. ISBN 0-664-50109-5

Reviewed by Sallie Watson, Austin, Texas

 

"Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt" is pithy, witty and well-organized. So much did I enjoy it that I bought five copies to give to my Austin, Texas, high school graduates this year. Although Ted and Alex claim the "Bible belt" as the arena for this, their first book together, I would recommend this book to my former youth groups in California and Utah in a heartbeat.

Surveying the Religious Landscape

By George Gallup Jr. and Michael Lindsay
Morehouse. 1999. 171 pp. Pb. $ 17.95. ISBN 0-9192-1796-4

Reviewed by Edward A. White, Washington, D.C.

 

This study reflects the glaring incongruities of the religious situation in the United States today. Religion in general (whatever that may mean) remains popular but for many there is little substance.

Jesus the Holy Fool

By Elizabeth-Anne Stewart
Sheed & Ward, 1999. 242 pp. Pb. $15.95. ISBN 1-58051-061-2

Reviewed by Herb Meza, Jacksonville, Fla.

 

The theme of this book is the reconciliation of folly and holiness. In beautifully written paragraphs, folly is described not as foolishness or buffoonery, but as vulnerability; risk above safety; truth above security; love above self-gain; and celebration over somberness. (Harvey Cox's "A Feast of Fools" and Henri Nouwen's "Clowning in Rome" play upon the same theme.)

God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

By Juergen Moltmann
Fortress. 1999. 292pp. Pb. $20. ISBN 0800631846

Reviewed by C. Benton Kline, Atlanta, Ga.

 

In this collection of 12 essays and lectures, Juergen Moltmann writes about some of the significant issues with which people must wrestle who seek to live in the modern world and address it from the perspective of a biblical and Christian faith.

The Truth About God: The Ten Commandments in Christian Life

By Stanley M. Hauerwas and William H. Willimon.
Abingdon. 1999. 144 pp. Pb. $10. ISBN 0-687-08202-1

Reviewed by Nathaniel S. Murrell Wilmington, N.C.

 

What should one expect of a book titled The Ten Commandments in Christian Life, published in 1999 when hysteria pervaded the media over a "Bible Belt" idea of posting the Ten Commandments on the walls of an Alabama courtroom?

Urban Churches, Vital Signs: Beyond Charity Toward Justice

By Nile Harper
Eerdmans. 1999. 334 pp. Pb. $25. ISBN 0-8028-4441-3

Reviewed by Carl S. Dudley, Hartford, Conn.

 

If churches were portraits, this book would be a national museum. Urban Churches, Vital Signs offers a magnificent gallery of verbal portraits of city ministries, with the brilliant colors illuminating the artistry of those who are doing the job.

Thriving After 55: Your Guide to Fully Living the Rest of Your Life

By Henry C. Simmons and E. Craig MacBean
Prime. 2000. 232 pp. Pb. $24.95. ISBN 0-9668813-1-1

Reviewed by Richard Lyon Morgan
Morganton, N.C.

 

Not a week passes that someone doesn't ask me about some of the issues discussed in this book. Older persons wonder, "Where will I live when I can no longer stay in my own home?" or "How can I handle the spiraling cost of home health care or long-term care?" Adult children ask, "What will our parents do when they can no longer manage by themselves?" or "Isn't there some way to get our parents to make their own decisions about later life now?"

The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism

By James K. Wellman Jr
Univ. of Illinois Press. 1999. 257 pp. Hb. $49.95. Pb. $21.95. ISBN 025206804

Reviewed by William P. Thompson
LaGrange Park, Ill.

 

The "church" in the title of this book is Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and the "ghetto" is the Cabrini-Green public housing project a mile west of the church. The author, James Wellman, is a lecturer in the Comparative Religion Program of the University of Washington, who served from 1993 to 1996 as a member of the staff of Fourth church, directing the young adult education program.

No Future Without Forgiveness

By Desmond Mpilo Tutu
Doubleday. 1999. 289 pp. $ 23.95. ISBN 385-49689-3

Reviewed by Jorge Lara-Braud
Austin, Texas

 

If you are a teacher or a preacher of Christian faith, or if you are simply in need of a persuasive argument that God is still in charge of your life and everything there is, you should get a copy of this book.

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